You may wonder how classic tennis bracelets got their iconic name. Tennis bracelets are delicate pieces of wrist jewellery and feature a thin, single strand of small stones, typically diamonds. They are certainly not part of a standard tennis outfit. The term tennis bracelet was coined during the 1978 U.S. Open Tennis Championship, when professional tennis player Chris Evert wore diamond bracelets on and off the tennis court. During one of her matches Evert’s bracelet broke and came off her wrist. The referee agreed to pause the match to allow Everts to retrieve her scattered jewels. The rest is history. Unlike her bracelet the term tennis bracelet stuck and has since then become synonymous with the term “diamond bracelet”.  
 

Chris Evert with Tennis NecklaceAmerican tennis player Chris Evert

 

What are Tennis Bracelets?

A tennis bracelet is an elegant piece of jewellery characterised by a symmetrical pattern of diamonds or other precious stones set in a narrow chain. The design of a tennis bracelet is simple and yet sophisticated. It is one of the few jewellery pieces suitable for everyday wear, as well as for formal occasions. Classic tennis bracelets, such as the Hailey Round Prong Tennis Bracelet are white gold plated, feature a row of round brilliant cut stones and are the ideal signature piece for that extra touch of sparkle.

 

When did Tennis Bracelets first emerge?  

The exact origin of tennis bracelets is somewhat nebulous, their history can be traced back to the early 20th century. While the term “tennis bracelet” was not yet used to describe them, the signature design characterised by their symmetrical line of diamonds was their well-established hallmark feature. In the early days, these bracelets were a symbol of luxury and status, often adorned by high society and featured in the collections of renowned jewellers across fashion capitals such as Paris and New York. The design was particularly popular during the Art Deco period in the 1920s and 1930s, where the emphasis was on geometric patterns and clean lines, aligning perfectly with the bracelet's minimalist yet chic design.

 Antique Art Deco Tennis Bracelet 1920s

1920s style Art Deco Tennis Bracelet


How many Carats is a Typical Tennis Bracelet?

The total carat weight of a typical tennis bracelet typically ranges from from 1 carats, for light tennis bracelets with fewer, smaller stones, to up to 10 carats for more formal statement pieces. For everyday wear or for gifting, a total carat weight of 2 to 4 carats is ideal. It is important to note that the total carat weight refers to the sum of all the stones in a bracelet, not just the weight of a single gemstone. 

The Grace Bracelet features round brilliant cut stones of varying sizes with a total carat weight of 2.33 ct. eq. The Francine Round Tennis Bracelet (total carat weight of 3 ct. eq.) and the Vianne Round Prong Tennis Bracelet (total carat weight of 5 ct. eq.) are our best-selling everyday bracelets. The Hailey Round Prong Tennis Bracelet is ideal for more formal occasions and features a total carat weight of 9.5 ct. eq. The latter three bracelets are all available in classic White Gold Plated Sterling Silver and 18K Gold Vermeil.  

 

Are Tennis Bracelets Still Popular in 2024?

Tennis bracelets are still among the most popular jewellery items in 2024. According to data from Google, the number of people who searched for the term “Tennis Bracelet” in the UK increased from some 380,000 total searches in 2022 to more than 500,000 searches in 2023. A total increase of more than 30% year-on-year. As the chart below shows, the search volume for other jewellery categories such as statement earring or pendant necklace remained flat or increased only slightly (eternity rings) during that same period. 

 Tennis Bracelet Interest in the UK

Source: Google.co.uk

 
One can conclude that even after being unofficially introduced by Evert in 1978 are still increasing in popularity to this day and are also a popular item for gifting in 2024.  

 

How much does a Tennis Bracelet cost?

Prices for CARAT* tennis bracelets made from high-quality hand and machine cut Cubic Zirconia crystals start from around £250. Our lowest priced tennis bracelet is the Kayla Bracelet priced at £219 up. This bracelet is available in white gold plated sterling silver and 18K gold vermeil. Tennis bracelets are often pricier than other pieces of jewellery, because they feature more gemstones than most other types of jewellery, such as simple stud earrings (What Size Diamond Stud Earring is Best for Everyday Wear?) or rings. As a result, tennis bracelets have a higher total carat weight and are more expensive. If you are looking for a more affordable and more sustainable product, explore our tennis bracelets made with GENTLE DIAMOMDS (starting from around £1,000).

 

 

Why we use Lab Grown Diamonds For Tennis Bracelets?

You may wonder why we opt for lab grown diamonds instead of using traditional, mined diamonds. There are three reasons for it: Lab made diamonds are physically, chemically and optically identical to mined diamonds. World leading diamond authentication laboratories provide certificates of authenticity for lab made diamonds. At CARAT* we provide a certificate of authenticity for any GENTLE DIAMONDS purchase that exceeds 0.3 carat stone weight. The second reason why the use of lab made diamonds in tennis bracelets is increasingly popular is that lab grown diamonds are more affordable than mined diamonds. While it is complicated to grow diamonds in a laboratory, the supply chain of lab made diamonds is less complex than that of mined diamonds (which leads to lower costs).The third reason to go for lab made diamonds is what’s most important to us here at CARAT* LONDON: lab made diamonds are the more ethical choice. Our GENTLE DIAMONDS lab made diamonds are not only 100% conflict free, production requires 6.9 times less water than would be required when mining diamonds and 1,281 times less land is disturbed.

Check out our lab grown diamond tennis bracelets

 

How does Evert Feel Today About Coining the Term “Tennis Bracelet” back in 1978?  

When asked by a journalist what she had dropped during the match Evert replied “Oh, that was my tennis bracelet.” Everts herself was surprised by the media buzz this seemingly small incident generated. During a 2018 interview with AOL she said “[I] just dropped my bracelet on center court at the US Open and that's when they called it the tennis bracelet.”.

But much has changed since 1978 when Evert famously coined the category. Consumers have evolved and so have tennis bracelets. At CARAT* we are embracing a more sustainable approach and use 100% conflict free lab made diamonds and other gemstones for our tennis bracelets. Read our detailed shopping guide to learn how to pick the perfect tennis bracelet for yourself. You may also be interested in our blog post on how to wear a tennis bracelet with a watch.